BalticSupply 1st newsletter edition - April 2011 Dear readers, This first Newsletter presents BalticSupply in close cooperation with our twin project North Sea Supply Connect! The two projects started separately, but are growing together continuously. We just took a huge step forward at our first joint partner meeting in Brussels. Business organizations across the two partnerships are now collaborating to support their regional Small and Medium-sized enterprises in entering new transnational markets. Joint Service offerings will be the key factor to this aim: Matchmaking events, partner search, tendering information, self assessment tools, training and coaching will soon be available on the respective project websites. However this is only the beginning: we aim to establish a virtual Business Development Platform on the Internet that is firmly rooted in the â€˜real lifeâ€™ services of our project partners. Read about the huge support we received from our first Joint Political Advisory Group Meeting that gathered high level representatives from ten countries. Promotion and internationalisation of SMEs is clearly in the focus of their respective regional and national policies so that they are all enthusiastic about our projects. What will be in it for you? Content, inspiring contacts and in the end, hopefully, contracts! We try to link smart: Read for example about the connection to the Enterprise Europe Network EEN and a Swedish cooperation further on. Come and see us at one of the events listed in the event calendar and check our project websites for regular news. Caroline Privat project manager BalticSupply
Contacts Project Management Caroline Privat at Free Hanseatic City of Bremen firstname.lastname@example.org
Communication Management Allan Ottesen at South Denmark European Office Brussels email@example.com
Improving the competitive advantage of regional SMEs
competences, and with this knowledge aim to match the buyers with the suppliers and provide businesses with the right tools for tendering and self-assessment.
Overview of the twin projects
Both projects are setting up virtual SME supply clusters with a Business Development Platform that will help business navigate the procurement processes of larger businesses.
BalticSuppy and North Sea Supply Connect are European funded projects, which are aiming at creating better business opportunities for the many Small and Medium-sized businesses (SME) located in the North Sea and Baltic Sea regions. The projects are focusing on the European supply markets and want to set up supporting structures for SMEs in order to increase access to inter-regional supply markets in Northeastern Europe. Key objectives • To support SMEs in access supply chains across the Baltic Sea and North Sea region • To develop a business development platform, which will include training & innovation programmes, electronic SME innovation partnership exchanges, company register / se-arch facility • To remove barriers to trade, creating new markets and new opportunities for transnational trade and relationships • To establish three Supply Clusters for Energy, Food & Health, and the Maritime sector
Key benefits for SMEs • To support business growth alongside developing innovation based relationships • To help SMEs identify opportunities to access tendering opportunities • To improve SMEs capacity to trade within the Baltic Sea and North Sea region
Key benefits for OEMs • Identify new innovative products & services • Support business growth and expansion • Identify opportunities to collaborate with innovative SMEs to develop new products
To accomplish the challenge The projects are comprised of partners that work with businesses every day: regional development agencies, chambers of commerce and intermediary organisations that know about the challenges that face our regional economies. Coupled with the expertise from knowledge institutions and policymakers from the regions, the projects will successfully deliver the aforementioned benefits to SMEs. The project partners are identifying businesses across the entire region, identifying their specific needs, but also their areas of expertise and their
Partnership 28 partner organizations from eleven countries: Belgium, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Scotland and Sweden You can find out more about our projects at www.balticsupply.eu and www.northseasupplyconnect.eu.
Business Development Platform rooted in off-line Services Services such as coaching, training, partner-search and funding are the daily business of most of the projects’ partner organizations. This way Business Development Organizations, Regional Development Agencies and Cluster Organizations play an important role in order to enable Small and Medium-sized companies (SMEs) to establish new business contacts with OEMs. The Business Development Platform (BDP) follows the same objectives and will be based on existing services. To increase the efficiency of the partners’ work and the benefits for the companies the BDP adds new essential elements. Transregional Cooperation and Internet-based Services The first step is to establish transregional cooperation within the participating partner network, especially the Business Development Organizations. The second step is to share and provide advanced tools and methodologies to meet the requirements of SMEs. Modern Internet technology will help on both sides to disseminate the offered services and allow efficient teamwork. In that way the BDP can be defined as jointly provided services that are offered within a combination of an internet-based portal and related organizational structures and processes (off-line Services). That way the BDP works as an intelligent link between the existing structures of Business Development and the needs of OEMs and SMEs in and across the regions.
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OEMs / SMEs Maritime
Health & Food
Business Development Platform Internet Portal
Business Development Organizations Coaching
Start in 2011 For the start of the BDP in the second half of 2011 we will focus on services which enhance direct contacts between companies or stipulate new business opportunities: joint events, matchmaking, self assessment and training on tendering processes. Information on leading-edge technology trends, derived from innovation surveys, will also be part of the BDP service concept.
More services to come The partners of the BalticSupply and the North Sea Supply Connect project are currently defining the service portfolio for the BDP. They also take into account existing forms of transregional partnership such as the EEN Network. Excellent relations to other public institutions, industry associations and private companies will ensure the success of the two projects.
For this purpose it is intended to establish – in each region of the projects – cooperation between a BalticSupply partner and the corresponding regional EEN partner. These partners should commit themselves to the following tasks: • The BS-partners will be in close contact to companies and institutions of the respective industries, offer existing cooperation profiles to their clients and collect offers and/ or requirements for international cooperation (cooperation profiles) from their clients. • The EEN-partners will provide the BS-partners with European wide cooperation offers within the respective industries and will enter international partner search profiles into the databases of the Enterprise Europe Network. • Both partners will inform each other about Expressions of Interests made by regional clients and about Expressions of Interest received by external clients. And both partners will support each other in fulfilling necessary projectspecific formal procedures like e.g. the documentation of successful partnership. This cooperation has already started in Bremen, Germany (location of the Baltic Supply Lead Partner) and will be extended to the other participating regions in the near future. For more information, please contact Jesus.Zepeda-Juarez@wfb-bremen.de
Further reading on EEN on www.ec.europe.eu/enterprise-europe-network
Enterprise Europe Network and BalticSupply join forces to create new business opportunities for innovative SMEs The Enterprise Europe Network brings together business support organisations from across 47 countries. They are connected through powerful databases and know Europe inside out. What’s more, they have been working together for years, some even for decades. The network currently includes 570 business support organisations in the EU and beyond. So it is well placed to help companies find suppliers, distributors, trustworthy export partners and ways to find and sell technologies. The main objective of the cooperation between partners of the two projects BalticSupply (BS) and North Sea Supply Connect (NSSC) and the project Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is to use synergies: • bring together products, services, technologies and research ideas of the branches energy, food industry and maritime technology from the Baltic Sea Region; • arrange transnational linkages to support business cooperation.
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CARGOTO - a Swedish cooperation project across the Baltic Sea
Ten countries represented at first Political Advisory Group in Brussels
One of the goals of BalticSupply is to facilitate trade across the borders and to increase networking. The Swedish project CARGOTO has the same objective as it supports transport routes with short lead times and effective logistics that are essential for the development of trade and networking. CARGOTO is a collaboration project set up to extend the freight transport options for companies in Sweden and in the Baltic countries. Within two years a new and efficient transport route from Oskarshamn in Sweden to Ventspils port in Latvia with further connections eastward will be established.
The first Political Advisory Group (PAG) meeting, hosted at the South Denmark European office in Brussels, was very well attended by the project partnership and EU services. There was a lively debate with substantial exchange of experience, mutual invitations to initiatives and meetings later in the year 2011. The scene was set for a discussion of the future course of the Business Development Platform (BDP) for the Baltic Supply and the North Sea Supply Connect projects.
SSPA Sweden, partner in BalticSupply, has recently performed a study and analysis of competitive factors for the goods transport corridor with unitized cargo between Oskarshamn and Ventspils including hinterland transportation. Customer demands, competing transport alternatives, frequency, service areas, reliability and value added activities have been investigated. BalticSupply Partners in the Baltic countries have also contributed to the study. SMEs will gain with respect to supply chain integration and opening of new markets with the goods transport corridor across the Baltic Sea in place. This trade could in the future be supported and stimulated by the use of the Business Development Portal services. The companies involved in the transport route, to date mainly on the Swedish side, but with good possibilities of expansion also to Latvia and other Baltic countries, will benefit from the use of a BDP for networking and exchange of experiences. This enhances the possibilities to expand and develop trade and economic growth.
It was pointed out that for the first time, two projects across two EU-funded program regions are as closely connected as in this case. In this context reference was made to the “Hanseatic League” which for centuries provided prosperity in the Baltic and North Sea area. Today these two projects are focussing on three economic clusters that form the economic basis for many regions in Europe; at the same time the cooperation inspired by hanseatic traditions is continued within the context of EU-Interreg funding.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are the focus and future Eva Kjer Hansen, Member of the Danish Parliament underlined that partners should “concentrate on what they are good at.” She called for reduced bureaucracy to make the market mechanisms more efficient and at the same time emphasized the need for contact and reliability in order to build trust between actors. Rob Engelsman, Chair of the meeting from Northern Netherlands, pointed out that 95 % of Northern Netherlands companies are SMEs. Local and regional programmes have been set up to facilitate innovation and business development. Cluster policy needs the research edge and hence we work with the triple helix of company’s, government and research institutions. Energy, Water technology, Sensor technology, Agribusiness and healthy ageing are the five clusters the Northern Netherlands are concentrating on. Therefore they support the proposal of Business Development Platform and will offer their own existing services to it. Rob Engelsman motivated the advisory board to support and promote these projects and the many practices that are used in the regions.
For more information, please contact SSPA Sweden AB, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jean de Bethune, Chair of Province Council West FlandersBelgium, stressed that SMEs need assistance. Their often limited capacity must be taken into account; ‘we must be realistic on what SMEs can achieve’ was the message.
Further reading: www.cargoto.se/en
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Raul Allikivi, Ministry of Economic Affairs Estonia, pointed out the similarities between the Europe2020 and the aims of the BS/NSSC projects. The average founding time of a company is very telling – durability is the key and of course to reduce bureaucracy. Thomas Palmgren, Member of the EESC for Finland, talked about FINEnterprise, the Finland state-financed portal ensuring effective use of business development resources in Finland by pooling action, facilitating access to public procurement and recognising innovation potential. EU programs require large capacities, which is often not apt for SMEs. He finished by stressing that quality should be the primary priority, not price.
Projects’ contribution to the Small Business Act Simeon Chenev, DG ENTERPRISE, presented the status of the Small Business Act (SBA) three years after its installation in 2008. The principle “think small first” in policy-making has resulted in a reduction of company setup time form 12 to 7 days. 100.000 SMEs have benefited from CIP financial instruments - each loan generating an average of 1.2 jobs. The impact assessment will be continued and further activities are the opening of SME centres in India and China. Sławomir Halbryt, Member of several Management Associations in Poland, informed that the 10 principles of the SBA have been implemented in the Pomeranian region and that the Pomeranian energy platform was founded in alignment with the SBA concept. Dirk Kühling, Ministry of Economic Affairs of Bremen Germany and co-chairing the meeting, presented how Bremen has been implementing the “Think Small First” principle with a clear cluster promotion focus and by fostering innovative capacities of companies. Anders Carlberg, Maritime Affairs Region Västra Götaland Sweden, brought the message that maritime and energy clusters are new fields for applying the SBA. The Swedish Marine Technology Forum, despite not having a shipyard for decades, promotes supplying companies. He invited partners to cooperate by reducing dependency on traditional ship energy (bunker fuel) and consider concrete steps in LNG and for the Clean Shipping Index.
Round off and future collaborations Skaidrite Rancane-Slavinska, Entrepreneurship Competitiveness Department Latvia, pointed out how important particularly the food and the energy sectors are to Latvia. She invited the partners to RigaFoodTrade Fair in September 2011, which was welcomed by the Danish cluster coordinator for the food sector. Tom Buchanan, Convenor of the Council of the City of Edinburgh Scotland, encouraged the food sector to tell the story: where the food is coming from and thus create value for the entire food chain. Carsten Westerholt, Interreg Secretariat North Sea Region, rounded the discussion off, by pointing out that a high-ranking political meeting like this plays a special role within a project and contributes to European policy. He stressed: “In Norway they teach children how to start a company and how to manage it. The joint story of BS and NSSC is interesting as a prototype for the cooperation of various European programmes!”
Regular meetings foreseen The PAG-members want to meet again regularly – at the latest in June 2012. However in the meantime, joint activities and ad-hoc meetings could take place at one of the events listed here in this Newsletter.
High attention for the two projects at Brussels reception The reception at the Bremen Brussels Office held in honour of the first Political Advisory Groumeeting on March 15th was a great success with around eighty participants. Representatives of all 29 partner organisations of the eleven involved countries, including business organisations, Chambers of Commerce, knowledge institutions and public bodies met with established Brussels representatives of the key innovative industries: Maritime, Wind Energy and Food and Health. Helga Trüpel (picture below), MEP from Bremen, congratulated the Members of the Political Advisory Group on their constitutional meeting and underlined the importance of transnational hands-on actions to support the EU strategies for the macro-regions Baltic and North Sea.
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Future events: Baltic Supply project • Hanse-Tagung 2011 Energy efficiency and climate protection around the Mare Balticum • Date: 11th-13th May 2011 in Hamburg, Germany • Read more: www.hanse-parlament.eu • Waste to Energy+recycling 2011 International Exhibition and Conference for Energy and Materials from Waste and Biomass • Date: 18th-19th May 2011 in Bremen, Germany • Read more: www.wte-expo.com • Windforce 11 - Direction Offshore International Conference for offshore wind energy • Date: 7th-9th June 2011 in Bremerhaven, Germany • Read more: www.windenergie-agentur.de/english/ • RigaFood Riga Food is the biggest food industry exhibition in the Baltic countries, the exhibition shows the development of industry in general, highlights novelties and gives an opportunity to meet food industry enterprises • Date: 7th- 10th September 2011, Riga, Latvia • Read more: www.bt1.lv/bt1/rigafood/?link=10000000 • 9th German Foreign Trade Congress 2011/ 9. Deutscher Außenwirtschaftstag 2011 Congress, Trade exhibition and cooperation exchange. Topics: Current challenges in European trade policy, Financing/insurance; Logistics, Export control; Foreign trade promotion • Date: 13th September 2011 in Bremen, Germany • Read more: www.aussenwirtschaftstag.de • European Integration and Baltic Sea Region Conference on Diversity and Perspectives hosted by Univeristy of Latvia, Centre for European and Transition Studies • Date: 26th-27th September in Riga, Latvia • Read more: http://cbs.ut.ee/index.php/home/activities/details/58.html • Baltic Development Forum Summit 2011 Bridge European and Regional integration; Develop regional partnerships between EU, Russian and Eastern Partners; Bring public and private interests together; Assess and update a common strategy for the future • Date: 24th-26th October 2011 in Gdansk, Poland • Read more: www.bdforum.org/show/english/news/bdf_summit_2011.aspx
Part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund)
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